thinking it was the gardener

I come upon a crumbling wall, previously unexplored, though I’ve passed this way so many times before. Something draws me now.  Circling round to the decrepit stairway, I imagine once led to a stoop, front or rear, I ascend those three to this sacred burial ground. The three remaining walls have utterly deceased. Life has drifted in its place. At once, I note a trinity of birch, of mushrooms, sentinels of stones rolled back.


Suddenly, I stumble upon a skull, intact of tooth, a deer I presume.  Oh, I see. Innocence died here in this place.  I pick it up, turn it over in my hands, return it to its imprint in the litter, to this fecund mix where it belongs, where infant pines and fallen giants share the ground with shadows moistening in long and slender forms.


Other creatures too have bedded in this place. I come upon a matted surround within a mass of bamboo. (Who would plant bamboo in these northeast woods?) I wonder if the deer thought it to be a safe place, here, far from the water, where domesticated geese don’t venture, to snatch up dandelion petals. Without a pen, I choose not to hunker down, though had I one I could’ve written in this place all day. 


Providence. Perhaps it is best to visit briefly.


I turn about, retrace my steps, descend the three, alight upon a giant stump. A large limb, fallen from on high, browns at last, here, on the other side of wooden soldiers in a row, remnants of that time.  Above, a redtail glides from height to height, while below, multicolored sojourners pause to inhale lilac and stroke magnolia blossoms. It must be time to go.


Slow return, no rush from there to here, passing between garbage can and dumpster. Love is all ways. Here.


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